||The book, Light: Stop Faking It! Finally Understanding Science So You Can Teach It, is an easy-to-understand, information-packed book that contains hands-on examples, thorough explanations, and real-life examples of the science concepts of light. Within separate chapters, the book explains the topics of reflection and refraction, the electromagnetic spectrum, parabolic reflectors, polarized plight, diffraction, the workings of the human eye, and light at the atomic level.
The way in which the topics are presented is noteworthy, as described below:
To begin each chapter, the author, William C. Robertson, Ph. D., instructs the reader to demonstrate the concept, hands-on, for himself or herself, in the sections which he calls, “Things to do before the science stuff”. For example, in the first chapter, he tells the reader to get a flashlight, a clear rectangular baking pan, and fill the pan with water. He instructs the reader to shine the light through the glass, then through the water, and observe the resulting “bend” of the light. Then, he tells the reader to shine the light through the air, then the water, and again observe the “bend” of the light. (Incidentally, these directions are accompanied by diagrams, so that the reader can proceed with confidence.) Then, the reader is instructed to compare the results.
In each chapter, he follows the “Things to do before the science stuff” with “The science stuff”, the place in which he explains the scientific reasons for what was observed during the hands-on demonstration. Continuing with the example above, he gives the reader easy-to-understand explanations of refraction and the index of refraction, including diagrams, and Snell's Law, complete with the formula.
Each chapter ends with a “Summary” in which Robertson succinctly recaps the concepts, followed by the “Applications” section in which he tells how the topics in the chapter explain real- world phenomena. For the example above, he explains to the reader, complete with an illustration, how refraction causes one to see the “mirage” of water on the road ahead on hot days.
This National Science Teacher Association book is an enjoyable read, compared to a traditional textbook, and it is a good reference for any elementary school teacher or middle school teacher teaching the “light” topics. It includes explanations of concepts, formulas, easy-to-duplicate demonstrations that lend themselves to inquiry-based exploration, good scientific models (diagrams), and funny cartoons, jokes and whimsical anecdotes. Scilinks topic names and codes are provided throughout the book to access additional teaching resources. This book promotes the Learning Cycle method of inquiry-based science teaching, and is based on the National Science Education Standards.